Recap: Radiohead Roseland Ballroom Night Two
Radiohead have been selling out amphitheaters for the better part of a decade, so when they announced that they would be performing two shows at Roseland Ballroom I immediately knew I had to be there. On Thursday September 29th, I waited outside in the rain for hours to get into the show in order to grab a decent spot. The best way to describe it would be miserable, but around 10 pm all that inconvenience dissipated.
After the group got situated on the intimate stage, Thom Yorke and Clive Deamer led the rest of the band into “Bloom,” the opening track from their latest album The King of Limbs. The crowd responded with some of the loudest applause I have witnessed at a show in quite some time. The intimacy of seeing a band like Radiohead in a venue as small as Roseland Ballroom was probably the biggest highlight of the night. The band seemed to be in good spirits; Thom Yorke was more charismatic here then at previous concerts I have seen, and went so far as to crack a few jokes about the “Lotus Flower” music video.
Radiohead is one of the more polished bands when it comes to live performances, so when Thom Yorke proceeded to deviate from the setlist and bust out “Like Spinning Plates” during a moment of technical difficulties it truly felt like a treat to the audience that was cramped into the small venue. Another surprise of the night came from Ok Computer‘s, “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” a song that up until these two one off shows hadn’t seen the light of day since 2003.
The band chose songs primarily from In Rainbows and The King of Limbs for most of the night. It was very strange that songs like “Paranoid Android” and “Idioteque” have been temporarily shelved after countless years of being live staples. This has given way for more recent Radiohead tracks like “15 Step” to become live fixtures. “15 Step” in many was has become a song that encompasses much of the past and present style of the band.
As the band launched into “Reckoner,” which would end up being the last song of the proper set, it became clear that Radiohead is still a band made up of five key members. Most of the complaints about The King of Limbs stemmed from people believing it might as well have been a Thom Yorke solo record; those people could not be more wrong.
During the second encore of the night, fans were treated to the full band premiere of “Supercollider,” a song that surfaced as a piano ballad on the In Rainbows tour. The full band version packed on much more of a punch then the previous version. The night ended with the beautiful “Nude,” a quiet, understated song that perfectly closed out Radiohead’s only 2011 U.S. dates.
The roughly 3500 fans in attendance at Roseland Ballroom were left with the remarkable experience of seeing a band that will most likely never play in a venue that small again. Luckily, for those who weren’t able to get tickets, Radiohead have hinted at the strong possibility of a full-blown tour in 2012. So, until then, we will just have to sit tight.
- Little By Little
- The National Anthem
- Subterranean Homesick Alien
- Like Spinning Plates
- All I Need
- True Love Waits/Everything In Its Right Place
- 15 Step
- Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
- Lotus Flower
- The Daily Mail
- Morning Mr. Magpie
- Give Up The Ghost (just Thom and Jonny)